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Monkey See
3:48 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

Call It A Prose Ceremony: 'Bachelor' Host Writes A Novel

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:12 am

When budding TV personality Chris Harrison walked into the offices of ABC back in 2000, he didn't expect much.

The network wanted to jump on the new trend of reality competition shows, and had asked him to host a dating show, where one man would cull through a group of 25 women through a series of dates and cocktail parties, ultimately proposing to one final suitor. It was called The Bachelor.

"I was hoping [the show] would last a few hours," Harrison jokes. "I would meet someone at the network, and it would lead to a real job."

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Music Interviews
3:40 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

In HBO's 'Bessie,' Queen Latifah Stars As Empress Of The Blues

Queen Latifah plays blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO movie Bessie.
Frank Masi Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 5:16 pm

A Mississippi car accident in 1937 cut short the life of Bessie Smith.

She was just 43 years old. But she'd already established her legacy as "Empress of the Blues" — a pioneering American performer who demanded respect and equal pay in a world dominated by men and controlled by whites.

She'd also achieved a degree of infamy for her boozing, her brawling and her sexual appetites.

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It's All Politics
7:31 am
Sat May 16, 2015

RedState Advises Less Meat-Throwing, More Substance In GOP Campaigns

RedState Editor Erick Erickson is asking Republican candidates attending this year's RedState Gathering to focus on what they would do for the country, not what red meat they can throw at Democrats.
Tony Gutierrez AP

After the Republican presidential candidates finish their first debate this summer, many will head to Atlanta for a summit hosted by Erick Erickson, conservative activist and editor-in-chief of RedState.com.

This year, Erickson's RedState Gathering is scheduled for the same weekend as the Iowa Straw Poll.

Jeb Bush has already indicated he will go to the RedState Gathering rather than Iowa. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry are also going. Most will try to attend both events, Erickson says.

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Religion
6:46 am
Sat May 16, 2015

Losing Faith: A Religious Leader On America's Disillusionment With Church

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, stands outside the church in Washington, D.C., in 2013.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 9:23 am

The U.S. is less Christian than it used to be, and fewer Americans choose to be a part of any religion, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

Of the more than 35,000 people surveyed, 70 percent say they are Christian — but the number of people who call themselves atheist and agnostic has nearly doubled in the last seven years.

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Movie Interviews
2:31 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Yo Aca-Adrian! Elizabeth Banks Says 'Rocky IV' Inspired The New 'Pitch Perfect'

Anna Kendrick and her compatriots in the Barden Bellas are back for a second installment of a cappella excitement in Pitch Perfect 2. It's also Elizabeth Banks' first major movie as a director.
Universal Studios

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 4:58 pm

You'd recognize actress Elizabeth Banks if you saw her — blonde, attractive, funny — whether she's playing an exhausted pregnant woman in What to Expect When You're Expecting, or an inappropriate a cappella judge in the 2012 movie Pitch Perfect.

Now she's taking on a different role: Directing Pitch Perfect 2. It's a tall order since the first one was such a surprise hit — it cost only $17 million to make, but earned more than $100 million worldwide.

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StoryCorps
3:04 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Dad Aches For Son Killed By Policeman 20 Years Ago

Nicholas Heyward Jr. the year before he was killed. "I would give my life today if I could, you know, just have him back," his dad said during a recent visit to StoryCorps.
Courtesy of Nicholas Heyward Sr.

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 10:51 am

Before Ferguson, Baltimore, Tamir Rice or Eric Garner, there was 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr.

In 1994, he was playing in the stairwell of the Gowanus Housing Project, where he lived in Brooklyn, when a police officer shot and killed him.

"He was an amazing kid and I don't just say that because he was my son," Nicholas Heyward Sr. says during a recent visit to StoryCorps.

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Thu May 14, 2015

A Fortune In Folios: One Man's Hunt For Shakespeare's First Editions

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., still has all 82 of the William Shakespeare first folios Henry Folger collected.
Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:37 am

Two of the most important books in the English language were printed four centuries ago: the King James Bible and William Shakespeare's first folio. Today, that first collection of Shakespeare's plays would fetch a king's ransom; and in the early 1900s, one man was willing to spend his entire fortune to own as many of them as he could. His name was Henry Folger and he was a successful businessman who worked his way to the top of Standard Oil. Folger managed to buy 82 first folios out of only a couple of hundred that survived from the original 1623 printing.

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The Salt
4:36 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

There's More To Farm-Fresh Prairie Food Than Steak And Soybeans

At ZJ Farm in Solon, Iowa, Susan Jutz, left, walks with her friend and mentor of Kate Edwards, right, of Wild Woods Farms. Once the plants get big enough at ZJ Farm Edwards transplants them to Wild Woods.
Dana Damewood Courtesy of Agate Publishing

Think local Nebraska food, and Omaha's famous steaks may come to mind. The Great Plains are indeed an agricultural powerhouse when it comes to commodities like feed corn, soybeans, beef and pork.

But as food journalist Summer Miller tells Meghna Chakrabarti of NPR's Here & Now, there's much more on offer these days in Nebraska, as well as in its Great Plains neighbors Iowa and South Dakota.

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Author Interviews
2:53 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

'Nimona' Shifts Shape And Takes Names — In Sensible Armor, Of Course

Nimona

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 4:56 pm

Noelle Stevenson is making her mark in the world of comic books.

She's just 23 and already a writer and illustrator. She has co-authored a series for Boom! Studios, called Lumberjanes, and she has written for Marvel's new female Thor. But it's a tough world for women to be a part of, whether they're creators or fans.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Exclusive First Read: Naomi Novik's 'Uprooted'

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 4:39 pm

Naomi Novik is best known for the Temeraire series — rousing adventure tales of a man and his dragon, set in an alternate-universe version of the Napoleonic Wars where France and England battle it out across land, sea and sky with the help of dragons.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Jerry Garcia's Advice To Bill Kreutzmann: 'Don't Rush'

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 6:22 am

In his new memoir, Deal, drummer Bill Kreutzmann tells a story about the Grateful Dead's tour of Egypt. Instead of filling hookahs with "black, gooey tobacco," the band "filled the entire hookah with hash. No tobacco!" In the midst of Middle East trouble, the Grateful Dead's members were unwitting ambassadors of American culture.

"Everybody had fun," Kreutzmann tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Yes, indeed."

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Mental Health
5:08 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

In Palo Alto's High-Pressure Schools, Suicides Lead To Soul-Searching

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 8:51 am

Since October of last year, four teenagers in California's Palo Alto school district have taken their own lives. Tragically, it's not the first cluster of teen suicides this area has seen: In 2009 and 2010, five local teenagers killed themselves by stepping in front of trains, and more suicides followed the next year.

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Author Interviews
4:20 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

Danielewski Returns With A Long, Sideways Look At 'The Familiar'

On pages 68-69 from Mark Danielewski's The Familiar, Volume 1, the main character Xanther looks out the window of her father's car during a rainy drive.
Mark Z. Danielewski Courtesy of Pantheon, a division of Random House LLC.

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 4:46 am

If you met the author Mark Danielewski on an elevator, here's how your conversation might go:

"What are you doing these days?"

"I'm writing a novel," he replies. "It's 27 volumes long."

"Wow," you might say. "What's it about?"

"It's about this little girl who finds a little kitten."

"Twenty-seven volumes, huh?"

"Ah, it's a very intense subject."

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All Tech Considered
8:06 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Coming Soon To A Highway Near You: A Semitruck With A Brain

The Daimler Freightliner Inspiration, a self-driving long-haul truck, is seen during an event at the Hoover Dam, May 5, 2015, near Boulder City, Nev.
John Locher AP

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 7:14 am

Imagine you're on the highway. You glance into the cab of the 18-wheeler next to you — and there's no driver. That day might be getting closer.

Automaker Daimler unveiled a truck last week that drives itself, called the Freightliner Inspiration. But the truck is not yet entirely autonomous.

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Author Interviews
4:31 am
Sun May 10, 2015

In Oklahoma, The Sky Has No 'Mercy'

The Mercy of the Sky

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 3:37 pm

Two years ago, one of the worst tornadoes on record hit the town of Moore, Okla. And you might say to yourself, well, doesn't this always happen there? It's called Tornado Alley for a reason.

And that's pretty much how the residents of Moore think about tornadoes. They're just part of life, and you take your chances. But that kind of thinking was part of the problem on May 20, 2013. The storm that came through that day was different. It was horrific.

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Author Interviews
3:15 pm
Sat May 9, 2015

If Science Could 'Clone A Mammoth,' Could It Save An Elephant?

A woolly mammoth skeleton gets auctioned off in Billingshurst, England.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 6:21 pm

It's been more than 20 years since Jurassic Park came out, and scientists have been cloning animals almost as long.

So where are the baby velociraptors already?

In Russia, there is a park all ready for woolly mammoths and scientists there say it's just a matter of time before they can bring back actual mammoths to enjoy it. But why bring back a species that went extinct thousands of years ago?

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Sports
6:20 am
Sat May 9, 2015

A Cup's Adventures And Oddities On Ice: 140 Years Of Hockey Trivia

An ice hockey match between the U.S.A. and Canada in February 1936, during the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:31 pm

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are well underway. Fans of the Winnipeg Jets are heartbroken; Chicago Blackhawk lovers are feeling great.

But you don't need to be an NHL superfan to find something fascinating about hockey. A.J. Jacobs, an editor-at-large for Esquire and a professional know-it-all, joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about quirky facts from the sport's past and present.

How much hockey trivia do you know? Take a guess at which of the facts below are true, then hit "play" to see if you were right.

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Author Interviews
3:11 am
Sat May 9, 2015

For 'New Yorker' Cartoonist, '90 Percent Rejection Is Doing Great'

Unlike the comic talent stereotype, cartoonist Matthew Diffee says he had "a wonderful family to grow up with."
Courtesy of Scribner

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:09 pm

Matthew Diffee has been drawing cartoons for The New Yorker since 1999. When asked which comes first, the image or the words, he tells NPR's Scott Simon, "They both come at the same time. I start with words, but while I'm thinking words I'm picturing the drawing already."

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Animals
6:10 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

In 'Rise Of Animals,' Sir David Attenborough Tells Story Of Vertebrates

Sir David Attenborough at the Beijing Museum of Natural History with fossil of Juramaia, as featured in the Smithsonian Channel series Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates.
Courtesy Smithsonian Channel

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 11:23 am

Famed British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough has been lending his calming voice to nature documentaries ever since TV was in black and white.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
3:03 am
Wed May 6, 2015

6 Words: 'My Name Is Jamaal ... I'm White'

Jamaal Allan is a teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. His name has taken him on a lifelong odyssey of racial encounters.
Courtesy of Jamaal Allan

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 12:09 pm

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, in which thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

People make a lot of assumptions based on a name alone.

Jamaal Allan, a high school teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, should know. To the surprise of many who have only seen his name, Allan is white. And that's taken him on a lifelong odyssey of racial encounters.

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The 'Morning Edition' Book Club
3:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Join The 'Morning Edition' Book Club As We Read 'A God In Ruins'

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson is May's Morning Edition book club selection. We'll talk with Atkinson on June 16. Read along with us, and send us your questions and comments about the book. (Book guide by Veronica Erb/NPR)
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 8:52 am

Welcome to the second session of the Morning Edition book club! Here's how it works: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. About a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

In his new memoir, It's A Long Story, Willie Nelson writes about his early career as a DJ in Fort Worth. He can still recite what he'd say on the air.
David McClister Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:14 am

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

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Photography
1:22 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Landscape Of Abundance Becomes A Landscape Of Scarcity

Courtesy of Matt Black

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 9:44 am

Photographer Matt Black grew up in California's Central Valley. He has dedicated his life to documenting the area's small towns and farmers.

Last year, he says he realized what had been a mild drought was now severe. It had simply stopped raining.

"It was kind of a daily surreal thing to walk outside," Black says.

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All Tech Considered
4:52 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

The Promise And Potential Pitfalls Of Apple's ResearchKit

ResearchKit, presented by Apple's Jeff Williams in March, enables app creation to aid medical research.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 7:37 am

Most of the tech buzz these days has centered on the new Apple Watch — including on the potential for health-related apps. Less attention has been given to Apple's ResearchKit, an open-source mobile software platform released in March.

But the medical world is paying attention.

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My Big Break
4:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

From Bond Girl To Medicine Woman: Jane Seymour's Big Break

Roger Moore and Jane Seymour in Live And Let Die.
Danjaq/Eon/UA/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 6:13 am

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You know actress Jane Seymour from the frontier town of Colorado Springs in the hit TV show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

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Author Interviews
4:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

With Comedic Touch, 'Zombie Wars' Tackles Impact Of Real Violence

Emily Jan NPR

Night of the Living Dead director George Romero once told NPR his movies have always been less about zombies, and more about humans and the mistakes they make.

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Goats and Soda
8:17 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Nepal's Medical Worries: Crowded Hospitals, Open Wounds

Hospital staff members work at the reception area of a hospital in Kathmandu. Some 14,000 were injured in Nepal's earthquake.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

An estimated 14,000 were injured in April's earthquake in Nepal. The caseload is overwhelming hospitals in Kathmandu, says Dr. Bianca Grecu-Jacobs, a resident in emergency medicine from California who was working in Nepal when the quake struck.

"[In] the lobby areas, patients just are on the floor waiting," Grecu-Jacobs says via Skype from Katmandu. "They strung up IVs for patients who need them in whatever manner they can."

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Author Interviews
5:49 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Demystifying The Art World In 'Playing To The Gallery'

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music Interviews
4:59 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Kurt Cobain Speaks — Through Art And Audio Diaries — In 'Montage Of Heck'

Kurt Cobain with daughter Frances.
Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

Author Hopes Holocaust-Themed Picture Book Will Prompt Conversations

Prolific author Jane Yolen is best known for her novel The Devil's Arithmetic -- the story of a modern American girl transported back in time to 1940s Poland, where she experiences first-hand life in a concentration camp.

Yolen has also written many children's picture books, like the classic How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Those very different books both have something in common with her newest release. It's a picture book for kids — about the Holocaust.

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